Dr Siobhan Chomse

Personal profile

My research focuses particularly on the idea of the sublime and its role in the literature of early imperial Rome. The sensation of the sublime is an experience of almost overwhelming awe in which delight and pain are balanced on a knife-edge. In my research, I examine ways in which Roman authors including Virgil, Lucan and Tacitus use the sublime to express the tensions and instabilities they perceive in imperial society. My work has explored expressions of sublimity found in architecture, technology and the natural world, from monuments to ruins, siege engines to earthquakes and volcanoes. At present, I am revising my doctoral thesis for publication as a monograph and beginning to think about a new research project. This next project will investigate the depiction of the Roman emperor as a sublime being in Latin literature and beyond. My research both informs and is informed by my teaching and I always enjoying talking to students about new ideas. This year, I am teaching Latin language and reading courses on Virgil and Livy, as well as an MRes seminar on antiquity and the sublime. I am also looking forward to developing some exciting new lecture courses for the next academic year.

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